Make no bones about it!

Mark Martin is back

Sunday, May 18, 2014    

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THE long-running, local television series Lime Tree Lane is forever etched in Jamaica's cultural history.

When young Mark Martin joined the cast as Bones in 1988, he had no idea it would lead to a life-long association with the show.

The show ended in 1997 after nearly a decade. Martin moved to working on stage but soon became disillusioned.

"I quickly became disappointed with how some of the stalwarts in the theatre industry dealt with newcomers like myself. You grew up seeing these persons on stage and almost idolised them. Then when you got to know them, they were completely different persons," he told the Sunday Observer.

Martin would suffer disappointments with a number of roles, with the productions either failing to make it to the stage because of a lack of sponsorship as well as not being able to operate with persons whom he claimed were less than professional.

So he gave the world of theatre a break.

"I just decided to take a break and since then I have been working as a professional organiser of corporate events."

However, the School of Drama graduate can't seem to shake the acting bug.

In 2013, Martin received a surprise call offering him a role in The Trouble with the Johnsons, which also starred Winston 'Bello' Bell.

"During the years that I have been off stage, I have developed a mental file, storing experiences and reactions from people and was able to recall them once I got into rehearsals. I was a little concerned that I would be rusty, but once I got into it... it all came back."

His performance in The Trouble with the Johnsons impressed the judges for the Actor Boy Awards -- the local awards for excellence in theatre. He received his first such nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role.

On awards night, Christopher McFarlane walked away with the main prize for his work in To The Finish, but Martin was pleased with his nomination and it led to a resurgence in his desire to take to the stage.

"I have had no other offers since 'The Johnsons' but I'm ready. The theatre community is so closed these days that nobody holds auditions anymore, you have to get a call... so I'm waiting. I'm ready to explore the full spectrum of the art. I thrive on comedy, but yearn for that serious role that will force me to dig deeper."

Being part of a cultural institution like Lime Tree Lane has had it's positive and negative implications for Martin.

"Nobody knows my proper name, for many Jamaicans I will always be Bones," he noted.



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